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Fanfiction: And the Winner Is...

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Series: Five Things
Prompt: Five ways Keller lost McKay to Sheppard
Rating: PG-13
Author's Note: McKeller (Unhappy endings); implied McShep.  AU.  I originally tackled this because I didn't like the idea of Keller losing in a scenario where it didn't work out between her and Rodney.  Originally published on sg1_five_things
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.  Written for entertainment purposes only.

And The Winner Is...

1.Before the Starting Gun

Jennifer’s about to invite Rodney for a drink but before she can, Colonel Sheppard enters – John, she corrects herself; he keeps telling her to call him John. 

John apparently has the same plan for Rodney, inviting him for a beer, and although he invites her along, she can see his worry and concern for his friend etched on his face. She declines brightly and heads back to her own quarters. A bubble bath and a cool glass of wine will more than make up for her thwarted plans with Rodney.

2.The Back Straight

Jennifer wipes her eyes and turns off the computer monitor. She has to stop playing the video of Rodney telling her he loves her. Whatever Rodney feels for her, he was sick and she has to let it go, no matter how intrigued she has been by the Rodney evoked by the parasite. Jennifer shakes herself briskly and goes to check on her patient. 

He’s awake and John’s with him; they’re laughing, heads crowded close together almost touching. John. He was the only person Rodney wanted at the end. With a flash of insight Jennifer wonders if they know they love each other. Jennifer’s lips twist wryly and she walks away without regret.

3.On The Bend

Jennifer catches up with Rodney in the elevator at the SGC. “Hey, Rodney! I’m glad I caught you…” 

“You are?” Rodney asks brusquely.

“I just wanted to say sorry again that I couldn’t make the physics conference.” A family reunion she has to attend has caused her to decline his invitation but she’s been hoping he’d ask her out for a long time since she’s certain he likes her. 

“No problem.” Rodney assures her. “John’s coming with me.”

Jennifer blinks in surprise. “Oh.” She hadn’t realised Rodney and John were… clearly she’s got her signals all wrong about Rodney.

“Not like that…just as friends.” Rodney’s eyes dart to the camera.

Of course, John’s military; they have to be circumspect. Jennifer smiles, letting go of her own momentary disappointment to feel happy for the two men. 

“Of course, Rodney.” She says brightly.

4.The Home Straight

Jennifer’s gut warns her that Rodney might be going to propose at the dinner he’s invited her to that night. She’s suspected he might since they arrived on Earth and Rodney told her she’s everything he needs. It’s not that she doesn’t love him – she does – but it’s early days, days where she still wonders if Rodney is right for her, and she’s too young to think about settling down. 

When she gets to his room, she enters and freezes at the romantic setting laid out, her heart sinking. Rodney clears his throat drawing her attention to him.

“I spent all day with John arranging this,” Rodney says, “but after he left…I realised I can’t marry you, Jennifer.” He grimaces rather than smiles. “I seem to be making a habit of not-proposing.”

Jennifer smiles tremulously. “I can’t marry you either, Rodney.”

He pulls her into a tight hug. “Friends?”

“Friends.” Jennifer lets go, relief flooding through her. 

5.At the Finish Line

“How do I know he’s the right one?” Jennifer asks Teyla, watching as her friend competently places Torren in his basinet. She’s taken advantage of Rodney having a guy’s night with John to confide her doubts about her upcoming wedding. 

Teyla shoots her a knowing look and straightens. “If you do not believe Rodney is the right one,” she pauses, “it is best to determine this now before the bonding.”

“Right.” Jennifer agrees.

“You should talk with Rodney.” Teyla chides gently.

“Right.” Jennifer agrees again and takes the subtle hint to leave. 

It’s not like she’s meant to lead Rodney on, Jennifer thinks as she searches for Rodney; she loves him but as their wedding day approaches, she can’t help thinking they’re not right for each other – not for the long haul. She eventually gives up and retreats to her room only to find Rodney there waiting for her. 

She knows without his saying a word what he’s going to say to her and she smiles grimly. Apparently she’s not the only one who’s realised they’re making a mistake.

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